NEWS DESK BALEARIC Farmers' Union, Asaja, will be handing out fresh produce this coming Friday down the Passeig del Born in Palma, in defiance of what it claims is inept handling of its members' needs by the regional Ministry for Agriculture.

Following the handout, the protesters will be heading for the Consolat de Mar government buildings where, en route, they will visit an arts and crafts fair being held by way of celebration of this year's Balearic Day. The fair is being held on a site where the farmers were going to set up a “country luncheon” to which members of the public would be invited but because of the clash of venue, the Asaja is looking to hold the luncheon elsewhere. The farmers' strategy, spearheaded by Union leader Biel Company, aims to highlight the lack of support the agriculturists claim to have received from the ministry at a time of real need following months of high winds and intense rainfall in the Balearics which have ruined crops and depleted livestock. Company said yesterday that other sectors of industry who feel let down by the government could be joining other protests the farmers have planned for 20th March. Not everyone within the farming community agrees with Company, however. Biel Torrens of a separate farmers' association Unió de Pagesos said yesterday that the protests weren't helping the farmers, and that the current Minister, Merce Amer is doing what she can to sweep away the old sectarian structure of the ministry and establish a new democratic order.